Mullah Baradar: Taliban leader released from prison on Trump's request to become Afghan president
The Taliban's re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan already has its leader assigned. Turning the clock back 20 years, the insurgent group firmed its hold all over Afghanistan on Sunday after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country for Tajikistan. In all of this, the Taliban has also been able to elect a leader set to be declared the new president. Identified as Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, he is reportedly one of the cofounders who began the Taliban movement in 1994.
Baradar's reach and acclaim just don't end at being the Taliban founder's top aide. According to reports, he also has ties with former US President Donald Trump, who had allegedly released him from a Pakistani prison in 2018. Two years later, in 2020, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had also met with Baradar in a highly publicized conference of two, where they signed the Doha agreement, agreed the US and Taliban would not be fighting each other. With the US troops withdrawing from the nation amidst its ongoing chaos, former war veterans have slammed President Joe Biden for following through with a plan Trump had initially signed. And as Baradar gears up to take over the Afghan presidency, those veterans' claims of the US deserting Afghanistan seems unavoidable now.
Who is Mullah Baradar?
Full name Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the alleged soon-to-be president of Afghanistan is one of the co-founders of the Taliban movement in 1994. The overall leader of the rebel group is Haibatullah Akhundzada, with Baradar as its political chief and the face best known to the public. Baradar currently is in charge of the Taliban's political office and is also involved with its negotiating team in Doha. Reported to be one of the trusted aides of Taliban founder Mullah Omar, Baradar is also married to the leader's sister.
Baradar's career has seen him build a hefty profile that boasts of positions such as military strategist and commander. Having served in top roles for all of the Taliban's major wars across Afghanistan, Baradar has also remained a top leader in the Taliban's formation in the Herat region, and also in Kabul. region (Herat) as well as Kabul. When the Taliban were defeated in 2001, Baradar was their deputy minister of defense.
Mike Pompeo met with Taliban Head of the Political Office Mullah Beradar on September 12, 2020.— Travis Akers (@travisakers) August 15, 2021
Beradar is now set to become the new President of Afghanistan.
President Trump had Beradar released from a Pakistani prison in 2018.
Press Release: https://t.co/64gZZuu05G pic.twitter.com/sFMPvUXz3r
Born in Weetmak village in Dehrawood district, Uruzgan province of Afghanistan, in 1968, Baradar is also reportedly part of the Popalzai branch of the Durrani tribe, - much like former president Karzai. After fighting alongside the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviets in the 1980s, Baradar had set up a madrassa in Kandahar with Omar while the country remained in civil war with rival warlords. The two men then together eventually founded the Taliban movement.
Once the Taliban collapsed, Baradar had reportedly approached then interim leader Karzai with a potential deal. Even though the Taliban was in a two-decade-long exile, Baradar gained fame for being a deft military leader and also a skilled political operator. He was seen by Western diplomats as most resistant to ISI control but also captured during the US-Pakistan raid in Karachi in February 2010. His release from prison was sanctioned by Trump, and after getting out in 2018 he had and relocated to Qatar - based on Trump's request as a part of peace talks. Next came the Doha agreement which was supposed to entail power-sharing talks between the Taliban and Kabul, but that never really saw much progress.